Did you know eat less = sleep less?

1 Apr

I know one of the reasons I am always running out of time is because I have to sleep long hours. I need to sleep 7 or 8 hours a day. This may sound normal, but most Japanese workers will not have enough time left for sleep and the average will be 5 or 6 hours or so. My problem has been that I need to sleep much everyday. Unless otherwise, I cannot concentrate on my work and I don’t feel energized enough. I’ve convinced myself I can work well because I can sleep well, until I watched a TV program at my grandma’s house in Osaka. I wouldn’t have watched such a TV channel in a daytime if I didn’t stay there. It was about Dr. Hinohara.

I know he is such a famous doctor who works very hard in spite of his age. But I didn’t know that he is sleeping only a couple of hours everyday and eat very little. We would think that sleeping less may not good for our health. Eating less may cause us sickness. But look, he is a doctor and he has outlived now that he is almost reaching 100 years old in a few years. It looks like somebody uploaded the one exactly I watched on Youtube.

His breakfast is only milk and orange juice with 4 table spoons of olive oil.
His lunch is only milk and small cookies (3 or 4 pieces).
His body line and weight have not changed since he was 25 years old.
Many people ask him if he is not hungry with such small meals, but he says he won’t feel hungry at all because he is too concentrated on his work to feel that.
His dinner is 1300kcal. For example, half a bowl of steamed rice, 100g of meat, miso soup, and a lot of vegetables. He tries not to use elevator or escalator and instead he walks up stairs. With this diet, he doesn’t need to sleep long hours. Here’s the difference I found between my habits. I like eating. I eat a good amount of meal 3 times a day. I will not be able to live with such a small amount of breakfast and lunch, and I cannot feel at ease with empty stomach before I get to work.

When I watched this TV program, I was thinking “Dr. Hinohara is someone very special. He’s got a special spirit and a body that none of us can do the same.” and days have passed. One day when I was withdrawing money from ATM at a 7-eleven near my house, my eyes caught a book sold there. The title of the book would be something like this if translated into English. “Smart people sleep short and deep in this way.”

I borrowed the book from a public library the other day and read it. I learned that we have to sleep because we need to rest the brain, the body and the visceral organs. Non-REM sleep comes first that is known as the period for the brain to rest and then follows REM sleep for the body to rest. It’s said that we will keep non-REM and REM sleep alternately and the ideal timing to wake up is right after REM sleep is over. One cycle takes 90 minutes, which means 3 hours or 4.5 hours or 6 hours are better than 8 hours for example. (90×2=3 hours, 90×4=6 hours)

Whatever it is, the author of the book says anyone can live with 3 hours sleep everyday only if he or she eats less. He says we need 2 weeks to get used to 3-hour-sleep. If I can do this I can get 5 extra hours a day and I will be able to lose weight (fat) because I eat less, but I strongly wonder if I can live with less foods and less sleep. I couldn’t make up my mind if I want to go for it or not when I finished reading the book, nevertheless I knew I could gain 5 hours everyday and that can change my life. I found myself totally full of earthly desires. I want to sleep and I want to eat. It’s that much, not easy for me to ignore these feelings at all!

Today I spent another sleep-well eat-well day in spite of myself. I have not yet made up my mind that I should start 3-hour-sleep with 60% of meals that my stomach wants. But I was fed up with myself being indulged with too much sleep and foods for days to come. I suddenly decided to start anguish 2 weeks to get into a short sleeper from tonight! I decided this around 10pm and so this means I have to stay up all the night and up until next night, except for 5-10 minutes of short naps. (That’s why I am writing this to distract my feelings that I want to sleep.)

The anguish 2 weeks goes like this. I still don’t know if I can live with this. But let’s see how it works out for me.
Day1: last day I can sleep 8 hours/day. This is going to be April 1st. (I’m not kidding, this is not April fool~!)
Day2: stay up all night.
Day3: sleep 6 hours at night. (may have a slight fever, dizzy, pains, but overcome them.)
Day4: sleep 6 hours at night. (recommended swimming or jogging. no sweets or alcohol, no bathing.)
Day5: sleep 6 hours at night. (will lose weight)
Day6: sleep 4 hours at night. (eat vege 70% and meat 30%)
Day7: sleep 4 hours at night. (will look thinner)
Day8: sleep 3 hours at night.
Day9: stay up all night. (don’t drink too much water and don’t eat much.)
Day10: sleep 3 hours at night. (pains, faint, dizzy…)
Day11: sleep 3 hours at night.
Day12: sleep 3 hours at night. (if not feeling good, go back to day1 to restart.)
Day13: sleep 3 hours at night.
Day14: sleep 3 hours at night. (last day of 2 weeks. 3-hour-sleep has become normal to you by this time.)

Am I able to say good-bye to my too-much-of-sleeping and too-much-of-eating? I am not confident at all, honestly. It looks too harsh and if I give up sleep and foods I wonder if my life is happy even if I receive additional 5 hours a day. All I know is only from what I go thru. I’ll just give it a try. Will share my experience later!

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43 Responses to “Did you know eat less = sleep less?”

  1. Sandra - April 1, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    I prefer to sleep for 12 hours when it's possible haha šŸ˜‰

    • kirin April 2, 2010 at 11:06 am #

      I know what you mean. But when I actually sleep 12 hours, I'll feel more tired and my brain doesn't work well. I keep yawning. So…I guess too much sleep is not really good for our body and brain.

  2. kelsey April 2, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    Da Vinci also believed this idea, I think. Good luck to you! It's hard to drag me out of bed, especially on "Ladies Day"…

    • kirin April 2, 2010 at 11:11 am #

      Exactly! There are some people who can live with short sleep, but I still doubt if I can. I was too sleepy today to do anything before I had a short sleep, which I am not supposed to take, according to the "guideline". But I couldn't think anything but to sleep today. It was totally impossible for me to stay up for over 36 hours. >_< Let's see how I can cope with the rest of the schedule…

  3. Cath April 2, 2010 at 3:01 am #

    Ooohooo… This is what I need!!! I don't have enough time. And yes, I do eat quite a lot… I think.

    • kirin April 2, 2010 at 11:13 am #

      I think that's why the truth is that we should not eat well especially when we get a cold. If we eat, we have to consume energy for stomach to digest not for the body to cure the cold.

  4. Jenia April 2, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    OMG!!! This is so brutal!
    I think that guy doesn't need to eat much because he is so old. Old people don't need as much food at all.. But young people do! I think the same comes to sleep as well… I don't think i will be able to study with this kind of livestyle…it's too much…
    It would be nice to see what will happen to you! Please keep us informed =3
    But also please be careful! And take care of yourself~

    • kirin April 2, 2010 at 11:22 am #

      Yes, I know this is too strict right? Today I just wanted to SLEEP so badly. I shouldn't even have a nap today but I couldn't resist. I felt all tired and no energy. I didn't feel like doing anything but to sleep. I didn't even feel like eating in the morning today. Any kind of social life cannot be led with this hard sleeping schedule, especially the day with 0 hours of sleep. I had to have naps to live like a human. I have to walk my dog, do house works, and many things I have to do besides staying up without sleeping. I don't think I can follow exactly as the guideline. Most importantly, I should not lose health because of this. So I'll keep going, but will be careful, thanks!

  5. flowerfawn April 2, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Wow…I'm really interested to know how you get on with this experiment! It's obviously working for Dr Shinohara, he looks very good (but lots of older Japanese people do without sleeping so little… ^^;;)!

    And I'm off to Osaka myself next week, so I'm going to check out your Osaka posts now šŸ™‚

    • kirin April 2, 2010 at 11:26 am #

      Dr. Hinohara's example seem to be "because he is old he doen't need to sleep or eat much". But many young people live with "eat less and sleep less" way of life. So….it's exactly as you say, "experiment" to me. I will see how things work out for me. :p

  6. sims April 2, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    you should really think about this because if you ever miss a night of sleep, or sleep more you would have to start from the beginning
    and as far as i know people usually are like zombies the first couple of days, until their bodies get used to it

    • kirin April 2, 2010 at 11:31 am #

      I know. I couldn't do without naps today. This means I may not be able to expect the outcome as the guideline says. But I just don't want to say "it's impossible" before trying nothing by myself. I know it's so hard and I'd have to spend very uncomfortable days until I get used to it, but I want to give it a try. In case it really works out for me too, I can save a lot more time in my life and with that time I can do many things I have given up so far.

  7. Emily April 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Screw that! lol I'm like a cat and need 9+ hours of sleep lol It would make sense why eating less, because digestion takes a lot of energy hence the reason why you feel tired after a large meal, would help you sleep less. I didn't sleep very well last night! Interesting post šŸ˜€

    • kirin April 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

      "digestion takes a lot of energy" This is so true! I didn't know this fact for a long time.

  8. Patrick Lim April 2, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Oh, this is something new to me.. =)

    • kirin April 3, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

      I wanted to know this earlier. But I'm not sure if this works out for me. :p

  9. Magda April 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Oh wow, I know many japanese shakaijin (my friends) sleep very little, but 3h is very harsh šŸ˜®
    I think if you want to limit your sleeping hours, why not just limit it to 6h a night??? I would sleep 6h preferably, but I'm just tired after work and go to sleep at9-10pm xD and wakeup around 6:45, so I sleep 9h xD But I don't want to be this sleepy. I will try to eat less and sleep less. But you know, it's a well known fact that when people diet very harshly, they are not able to sleep… but I don't think that is healthy šŸ˜®

    • kirin April 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

      I think I will settle down 6 hours or so eventually…^ ^; Eating less and sleeping less is better than the other way round. But the problem is if I can keep it.

  10. Steven Stier April 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    When I want to loose weight I eat a diet similar to the Doctors. And as I loose weight I find I have more energy. However, I have always needed about 6 to 7 hours of sleep each night to be alert through the day. Too much sleep makes me drowsy all day and too little sleep my eyes want to shut all day although I seem to have plenty of energy. The diet seems sensible because it includes plenty of vegetables and a little meat. Orange juice is high in calories and milk has many of the vitamins we need. But I believe that each person has their own unique needs for sleep. The doctors need is just 2 hours. You may find that little sleep just will not work for you. However, I am very interested to see how this works for you. Many people sleep more hours than they need because we are taught that we need 8 hours of sleep each night. Although most people probably do not. So please let us know how this works for you. It is very interesting. But not necessarily kawaii.

    • kirin April 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

      I agree with you on "each person has their own unique needs for sleep". I have thought I need a longer sleep to keep healthy and productive. I didn't even feel like trying short sleep until I read this book and remembered the diet Dr. Hinohara practices. I am not sure if I am doing well because it's said taking naps is OK but I think I am already taking more naps and longer naps than what I am supposed to have. -_-; I'll blog about how it was when it's over.

  11. Phil April 2, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    This is a very interesting experiment – I wish you luck. But I think that most medical opinion is not with Dr. Shinohara. Most of what I've read suggests that 8 hours is best for most people. There is also evidence that a short nap in the middle of the day can increase productivity. I wonder what your own doctor would say about your experiment? I've never seen any research that combines lowering food intake together with shortening your hours of sleep, so I'll be eager to know how this goes for you.

    By the way, why do you want an extra 5 hours a day? What does your husband say about this?!

    • kirin April 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

      WIth extra 5 hours I can do many things I give up now due to lack of time. But my husband said that the desire for sleep should be more than those small things. At the same time though, he also showed interests to the experiment because he is busier than I. But this way of sleep should be combined with several short naps in a daytime. He is working too busy even to take a nap. So…I think I will rely on naps so much even if I succeed in 3 hours sleep. :p Will blog about it when I'm over with it.

  12. Aice April 4, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    Oh wow!! I wish you all my luck! I hope this is true because I am going to be very busy with schoolwork next year! Haha!

  13. Apple April 5, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    Oh! An extra 5hours a day sounds really tempting! Good luck to you! Do you know many successful people don't need to sleep much? It's not that they cannot sleep. They still are energetic and productive even with little sleep. Donald Trump is one of them.

    I try to sleep 8 hours a day because this is what has been told to us for ages. But usually I'm ok with 4hours. I tried sleeping 3 hours before but I will just be unfocused throughout the day.

    Take care! Good luck! šŸ™‚

    • kirin April 6, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

      Donald Trump, too? And you were OK with 4 hours? I envy you. You can make use of your time. Well…I've been working as instructed by the book I read but…it looks like…I cannot do without longer sleep hours….(TwT)

  14. Hellolynn April 6, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Oh dear… i doubt i can achieve tis. Sleep is so important…i need at least 8 hours to stay fresh. Honestly, as age is catching up.. i realized dat i can't do without a proper 7 or 8 hours sleep. During my younger days, i can go without zzz hanging out with my frens. If I were to do this at tis state of my life now, its going to kill me and I would need probably more than 12 hours of zzz to make up for it ;d Tis is also in contrary to what I have always read from beauty magazine…they have always advocated on the importance of having a 7 or 8 hours zzz to maintain a beautiful complexion…..anyway, do keep us updated on yr progress =)

    • kirin April 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

      I hear that 10pm – 2am is the golden time for our skin. As you say, I also hear that sleeping is good to maintain beautiful skin. If I have to choose beauty or saving time, I'd choose beauty~ XD

      • kara April 25, 2010 at 2:14 am #

        has anyone lost weight with this diet?

  15. Bebi April 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    1300 kcal for dinner….that's much!!! I eat up to 1400 kcal for the whole day…….

    • kirin April 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

      I think so too. I'd split that calorie by 3 meals and I want to eat more in lunch…

  16. n a n d a April 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    Whoaa very extreme routine! I dont think i can handle that. I become cranky & unpleasant person when i lack of food and sleep šŸ˜¦
    And i thought by sleeping longer we'll become thinner. Cos you know, we dont eat when we sleep, obviously lol :))
    And because when i stay up late i tend to get hungry, then a bowl of instant ramen/toasts/bag of chips/a gallon of coffee will mysteriously appear *into my stomach* T_____T

    • kirin April 17, 2010 at 4:34 am #

      When we sleep, metabolism reduces. When we are awake, it increases.

  17. kara April 25, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    i'm going to try this. Today I'm no going to go to sleep. Hopefully this works

    • kirin April 26, 2010 at 4:03 am #

      It's kinda hard but it's cool if this works out for you. In my case it didn't unfortunately. I'll try to eat less and less and sleep less and less very little by little now.

  18. mintz May 31, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    It's been a long time since i last visited your blog and seems like it's gotten better and better šŸ™‚ Anyway, I just read on the May issue of "National Geographic" that "Elderly people who sleep as well as they did in middle age remain physically and mentally healthier".

    • kirin June 1, 2010 at 5:58 am #

      Thank you for coming back to read my blog.
      Hmm… I think most of people say sleep well for good health and eat well for good health. In that way this method sounds strange but then how can this old man work and live like this? He's method is also supported by medical standpoint as he is a famous doctor. I want a good health but moreover, I want more free time myself. ^ ^;

  19. Minona September 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Isambard Kingdom Brunel slept less than 4 hours-per-night for several months at a time, but had the pressure of workers demanding his expertise at all hours, often their live depended on him. But when projects were complete, he often slept as much as possible during weeks at a time, when he apparently dreamed up with his amazing ideas and inventions! He collapsed and died yound, but this may have been stress, poor working conditions and very irregular hours (rather than lack of sleep).

  20. Yamato October 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    If want to sleep 3 hours with healthy condition , you must be high discipline , motivated and also remain positive( means less stress) . You can't be 3 hours sleeper if you follow earthly desire , eat as much u want especially unhealthy food like burger , instant noodle etc. If u not follow this , u better be sleep like ordinary person do – 8 hours sleep – because 3 hours sleep only damage u body and worst . 3 hours sleep is only for people who train himself to control their lust.

    • kirin October 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

      Thank you Yamato for your advice. Lately I read a book about immunology and in terms of immunology, short sleep is not good because that increases granulocyte inside one's body and that could create cancer cell. I gave up short sleep anyhow. And reading your comment, I find myself not appropriate for short sleeper because I eat junk food or pre-fixed food and I cannot always control my lust. ^ ^;

  21. nana March 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    hey, i liked your post.
    and? how is it? did it work out with you? ( 3 hours sleep)
    i want to know more about the book "smart people sleep short and deep in this way"
    i looked in internet but cant find enough information. would you mind to help me?

    • kirin March 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      The book is in Japanese and I gave an English title only to introduce you the idea, but it's not translated into English and so not available in English. Sorry.

      Here's continued part. http://tokyokawaiietc.com/archives/3923

      Unfortunately I was not smart as to be OK sleeping less hours. lol I prefer to be less smart and sleep as I like. lol
      Hope you enjoyed the article.

  22. whatmakesuslive October 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    "But look, he is a doctor and he has outlived now that he is almost reaching 100 years old in a few years."

    sorry, but just because he's a doctor it doesn't mean it's right. Maybe it worked/works for him but that doesn't have to apply for everyone… it's an intreresting idea though, but please be careful.

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